Baby showers are a time of celebration, but not all cultures celebrate babies in the same way. From Latin America to the United States, baby shower rituals come with unique sets of rules, etiquette and tons of fun.
Latino baby showers do not follow the same rules as American baby showers. There’s music, dancing, loud voices, tons of food and lots of hugging, kissing and touching the expecting mom’s belly. Expect to see tons of children and men at the party – this will not be a women-only event that is for sure. A few things you can expect at a Latino baby shower include:
- Tons of snacks and food
- Games that last for hours
- Dancing and vivid entertainment
In India, an event called Godh Bharai is held in the 7th month of pregnancy to celebrate the baby. While the specifics of the festivities vary, all Indian baby showers are held to anoint and bless baby and mother. In many cultures, expecting women are anointed with oils and dressed in a flower-covered saree created specifically for the event. Indian baby showers are for women-only so no men are invited to the event. Women gather to sing, dance and flood the guest of honor with gifts, attention and fun-minded jokes.
In many cultures where baby showers are not practiced, the idea is considered a US-derived event, though older cultures have celebrated with baby showers for centuries. US baby showers have evolved over the years from women-only events held in the afternoon to elaborate parties for men, women, family and friends held morning, noon and night.
Baby Showers are Not Practiced in Every Culture
Some cultures choose to hold the celebrations until after birth. Celebrating baby prior to birth is considered a bad omen that could lead to loss of pregnancy. This practice extends, in some cultures, to purchasing baby clothing, furniture, diapers and other supplies. In Russia, for instance, no supplies are purchased until after baby is born. But, moms rest for about seven days postpartum and no one is allowed in the room with baby until he leaves the hospital or until the parents are comfortable with guests.
Baby showers are a celebration that brings together family and friends to honor the coming of a new life. In some cultures the party lasts well into the wee hours of the morning and other cultures maintain a strict code of women-only. No matter what your cultural beliefs, there is likely a proper time and place to celebrate baby.